An Examine Life: Politics and Principles
Author: Sim Kwang Yang
Publisher: UPSI Press
Price : RM62
Sim Kwang Yang (1948-2014) was known as SKY to generations of readers and political admirers. SKY was a hermeneutic philosopher, a three-term MP for Bandar Kuching, and a columnist for Malaysiakini, The Nut Graph, and many other national and Sarawakian newspapers, writing in English and Chinese.
Sarawak’s SKY meant light, and fresh air, to Malaysian society. He was Anak Sarawak, Bangsa Malaysia: a national leader respected by political allies and opponents alike. SKY’s principles of universal concern and social justice remained solid, throughout four decades of political education and writing. SKY was incorruptible. His idealism shone through the cynicism of Malaysian politics.
His essays, full of intellectual curiosity and humour, offer us inspiration and insight today, at a time when sophistry and despair in our national life seem ever more prevalent.
“Those who thought that change in Malaysia could come overnight may do well to be prepared for a long haul ahead. History has often shown that those in power will not willingly surrender their monopoly on the control of appropriating resources. That power has to be wrenched from their clenched fists, a little at a time, until they fall. Fall they will, because no political ruling class can rule forever…
“Whatever the outcome of these (elections), one should not be overjoyed or over-depressed. There will be many more battles ahead. Our desire for change will have no chance of immediate gratification. What we ought to do in the eye of the national storm is to reiterate to ourselves our very human and noble aspiration to freedom from corruption, abuse of power, and bad governance, and dream of democracy, transparency, accountability, and justice for all. Then we make our personal choice, and a sustained commitment to those ideals every time we vote, again and again. That is our only course forward, in this messy state of affairs.”
Sim Kwang Yang
“Sim was a staunch defender of human rights and a powerful advocate for the voiceless, in particular the Orang Asal fighting to defend their ancestral lands from being invaded by loggers. A man of great principle and integrity, he inspired many of us to continue the struggle so that we leave the world better than the one we inherited.”
Editor in chief of Malaysiakini